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Watch launch of BepiColombo mission to Mercury

The BepiColombo mission to our sun’s innermost planet – fascinating little Mercury – launches from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana on October 20 at 01:45 UTC (tonight at 9:45 p.m. EDT). Here’s how to watch.

How do dogs process words?

What’s happening in your dog’s brain when it hears you say squirrel? New research looks at how dog’s brains react to human words.

New technology may help solve mystery of life’s origins

How did life on Earth begin? A new technology, called Planet Simulator, might finally help solve the mystery.

Bees stopped buzzing during total solar eclipse

In the path of totality of the August 2017 total solar eclipse, bees stopped flying, says a study. “It was like ‘lights out’ at summer camp.”

How to spot ISS in your sky

Learn to watch ISS moving silently and steadily across your night sky, and think of the 3 astronauts currently on board.

Meet the trillions of viruses that make up your virome

Just because you don’t have the flu doesn’t mean that your aren’t teeming with viruses inside and out. But what are all these viruses doing, if they aren’t making you sick?

Is Voyager 2 nearing interstellar space?

Voyager 2, launched in 1977, is now about 11 billion miles (17.7 billion km) from Earth. NASA says the spacecraft has detected an increase in cosmic rays, which might mean it’s close to becoming only the 2nd human-made object, after Voyager 1, to enter interstellar space.

Michael headed for landfall in Florida

The early morning update on Wednesday, October 10, shows Michael has strengthened more than expected to a Category 4 hurricane. The storm is due to make landfall on the north Florida coast today.

Hubble is in safe mode. Science operations suspended

The Hubble Space Telescope has been in safe mode since last Friday evening, following the failure of one of the gyros that helps stabilize it. NASA is analyzing the problem and hopes to resume operations soon.

Microplastics found in sea turtle nesting sand

Researchers have found microplastics deep in the sand on beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs.

Breakthrough Listen brings ET search to Africa

Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Listen program said it has added the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa to its global effort to listen for signals from an alien intelligence.

What we’ve learned from 50 years of ocean drilling

We know more about the surface of the moon than about Earth’s ocean floor. But analysis of core samples from the deep seabed has given us insights into climate change, Earth’s history, and the key conditions for life.

Death toll surges over 800 in Indonesia earthquake

Links to stories and images of the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Indonesia on Friday. By Sunday morning, the death toll had gone over 800, with thousands waiting to be rescued.

Study untangles role of pollution, smoke on thunderclouds

Smoky air makes it harder for thunderclouds to grow. But pollution – if it’s not too heavy – energizes their growth, according to a new study based on satellite data.

Today in science: Albert Einstein and E=mc2

Mass and energy are interchangeable.

MarCO: Tiny cube satellites headed to Mars

These boxy satellites, small enough to fit in a backpack, are currently trailing thousands of miles behind the InSight spacecraft on their way to Mars.

It’s Mid-Autumn Festival time in Asia

In China and other Asian countries, it’s sometimes called the Moon Festival in honor of the upcoming full moon.

Pablo Neruda and cosmic beauty

Neruda wrote: “Every day you play with the light of the universe.”

Here’s what closed Sunspot Solar Observatory

Federal court documents this week revealed an FBI investigation of a janitor suspected of using Sunspot Solar Observatory’s internet connection to send and receive child pornography.

Elon Musk and SpaceX announce 1st tourist for ‘moon loop’

Musk said Monday from SpaceX headquarters in California that it will send Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa – with a group of artists – on a loop around the moon and back to Earth in 2023.